All posts by Editor

05Apr/19
Monica selling her crop of Roselle

Personal stories: How Monica went from water carrier to Roselle producer

We first met Monica at the Kisumu Regional Show. REAP used to have a stand at the Kisumu Regional Show and Monica helped us by carrying water. She helped us as we prepared for the show and throughout the seven days of the show. She took an interest in what we were planting and teaching.

Since then she has been successfully growing some of the new plants we have introduced to the area including Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). 

When we needed some for people who had ordered it in Nairobi, we contacted her, and she brought us a good quantity for sale from her own farm.  She measures it by volume, using a one litre tin as commonly used in the market. 

We want to recognise her diligence in keeping the seed from year to year and continuing to recognise the value of this plant by growing it on her own farm.  Monica had good quality seed to sell.

She has picked up something we have mentioned but have not seen many others do.  She roasts and grinds the seed to make a coffee substitute that certainly smells good!

Monica selling her crop of Roselle
Photo of Roselle

Roselle is a bushy plant, growing to about 1 metre tall. It is native to Sudan and West Africa.  It grows well in hot conditions and will tolerate relatively poor soil conditions.   

It is grown mainly for its red acid succulent calyces that are made into a drink, taken either hot or cold.  The tea is pleasant and refreshing, detoxifies the body and helps remove dead disease organisms and toxins from the body (cleans the blood). 

It is a mild sedative and therefore good for reducing stress and helping ensure good sleep.  When people are sick it is important that they take enough fluid and Roselle tea is a good way of ensuring sick people drink enough.  The tea can also be made from Roselle mixed with Lemon Grass for added flavour and medicinal benefit.

To find out more about Roselle and it’s uses, click here

11Mar/19
Rosalia supervising the students preparing beeswax for adding to ointments

News from our travels with our Natural Medicine teachings

In February, Roger travelled with Rosalia to Kwale which is near the coast in Kenya. They went to facilitate a five-day Natural Medicine seminar at the Kenya School for Integrated Medicine.

We covered the usual topics that we train on. However, the participants were different from our usual participants making this an interesting and affirming experience. Most of the participants were students at the school, so they were much younger than those we normally train. It was a positive opportunity to introduce students, who are involved in alternative medicine, to the wealth of medicinal remedies easily available to all. Participation in the practicals was great.

The garden walk was a particularly helpful tool. It proved to show how many useful plants are already available. By the end of the week, we were encouraged by the questions which reflected a growing understanding of what we teach as Natural Medicines.

In mid-March, we will be taking the same general teaching to a group of students at the Africa Inland Church Missionary Training College in Eldoret. These are Bible students preparing to take the gospel message to remote parts of the country and beyond. We have trained there every two years for some time now.

Rosalia supervising the students preparing beeswax for adding to ointments
Rosalia supervising the students preparing beeswax for adding to ointments
Students cleaning groundnut shells ready for making medicinal charcoal
Students cleaning groundnut shells ready for making medicinal charcoal
Rosalia teaching on making chilli ointment
Rosalia teaching on making chilli ointment
Roger demonstrating on how to use unripe pawpaws for treating difficult wounds
Roger demonstrating on how to use unripe pawpaws for treating difficult wounds
16Jan/19
George teaching on harvesting Artemisia and taking cuttings during Natural Medicines seminar May 2018

May 2019 Natural Medicines Seminar

REAP and anamed Kenya are planning to conduct another Natural Medicines Training Seminar at the beginning of May 2019 at the Subiaco Centre in Karen, a suburb of Nairobi.

The Aims

The aims of the May 2019 Natural Medicines Training Seminar are to train people (healers, pastors, missionaries, health workers, teachers and others active in the community) in:

  • The recognition, knowledge, and cultivation of several medicinal plants in a medicinal garden.
  • The hygienic production of effective Natural Medicines from these plants, e.g. teas, different medicinal oils and ointments and tinctures. We will also produce different medicinal soaps, medicinal charcoal, black stones for scorpion stings and snake bites and learn how to use several simple technologies.
  • The treatments of many medical complaints and diseases, including malaria, skin problems, diarrhoea, HIV/AIDS, and wounds.
  • The influence of good nutrition and lifestyle on health.
Photo of George teaching on taking Artemisia cuttings at a Natural Medicines Training Seminar

George teaching on taking Artemisia cuttings

Sr Francisca shows plants in her garden to other participants during Natural Medicines seminar May 2018

Sr Francisca shows plants in her garden to other participants during Natural Medicines seminar May 2018

The Expectations

Following the seminar, we expect the participants to be able to:

  • create their own garden of medicinal plants,
  • prepare their own natural medicines,
  • treat themselves, their families and others within their area of competence, and
  • teach their families, colleagues, and others in their communities

Seminar Details

Where: Subiaco Centre,  Karen, a suburb of Nairobi. This is a Roman Catholic centre run by the Missionary Benedictine Sisters, with self-contained rooms, a beautiful ambiance, and a well established medicinal garden. It is located about 2 km from Karen centre along Windy Ridge.

Date: 4 pm on Sunday 5th May – 2 pm Saturday 11th May 2019.

Cost: KSh 38,000/- or equivalent for the one-week seminar.
(This is an all-inclusive price, and includes food, accommodation, books, some seeds, a T-shirt, a poster and all seminar materials, but excludes transport to and from the venue. Any insurance required remains the responsibility of the participant)

Tutors: Rev Rosalia Oyweka, Dr. Roger Sharland, and Pst George Matengo.

Contact Details

If you are interested in attending please contact:

REAP Administrator: Mrs Anne Sigei

Email: reapke@gmail.com

Phone: +254 (0)707 495709 or +254 (0)722 737429.

 ** Book soon to reserve a place!

Download Invitation

To download a pdf of an invitation to this seminar, please click here:

Letter of invitation to the May 2019 Natural Medicines Seminar

15Jan/19
Photo of November 2018 participants

Update from Natural Medicines Seminar in November 2018

Photo of November 2018 participants

REAP conducted a Natural Medicines Training Seminar from November 18th-24th, 2018 at the Subiaco Centre in Karen, near Nairobi.

Fourteen participants attended this intensive training seminar from different parts of Kenya. The participation was excellent and we covered the full curriculum for the week. Subiaco has a beautiful ambiance and an established medicinal garden, which enabled us to have detailed practical learning.

Seminar Content

  • The major medicinal plants that we teach on and included many practical sessions.
  • Growing, preparing and the use of scientifically researched and proven Natural Medicines.
  • Discussions about how to communicate the message positively both within the church, the community and other Christian contexts.

Next Seminar

We plan to hold another training seminar from 5th to 11th May 2019 at the Subiaco Centre. Click here for more information.

Please contact the REAP office if you are interested in attending.

REAP Administrator: Mrs Anne Sigei
Email: reapke@gmail.com
Phone: +254 (0)707 495709 or +254 (0)722 737429

Practical Learning at Natural Medicines Seminar in November 2018
Practical Learning
George teaching on planting artemisia at Natural Medicines Seminar in November 2018
George teaching on Artemisia
24Jul/18
Sr Francisca shows plants in her garden to other participants during the seminar in May 2018

Newsletter for July 2018

Here is an online version of the Newsletter for July 2018

July in the northern hemisphere is one of the hotter months. Here in Nairobi it is the cold season and this year we are feeling the cold! Although due to limited resources, we have not been able to reach out as much as we would have liked, we have enjoyed very positive response to our teaching from those who have come to us. We have in particular had very encouraging response from those who want to use Vetiver Grass to care for God’s wonderful creation, starting from home. Also we have had positive interest in natural medicines, and particular Artemisia and Moringa, with very positive training opportunities.

Sr Francisca shows plants in her garden to other participants during the seminar in May 2018

Sr Francisca shows plants in her garden to other participants during the Natural Medicine Seminar in May 2018

REAP Displays at local events

We have recently been able to have displays of REAP’s work at various local events, publicising what we do and getting the message to a much wider audience. On World Environment Day on June 5th REAP participated in a local event organised by Kisumu County. We had been asked in particular to share on the Biblical perspective on Creation Care and on the use of Vetiver Grass as a practical measure. Two weeks later we had a display on Natural Medicines in partnership with a local organisation we have been assisting in Ekatsombero village. We had earlier helped them to plant a medicinal garden at the local school and this was a very positive focus of interest. Others we have trained have also displayed in their home areas at various events.

Visitors at the REAP display on World Environment Day hear about the use of Vetiver Grass

Visitors at the REAP display on World Environment Day hear about the use of Vetiver Grass

Rosalia at the REAP table at Ekatsomero School open day, with the Medicinal garden in the background

Rosalia at the REAP table at Ekatsomero School open day, with the Medicinal garden in the background.

Responding to invitations for teaching

The team in Kisumu are now known to have interesting and relevant teaching, so are often asked to come and share at seminars and church gatherings organised by others. This gives us good opportunities for challenging from the Bible and sharing some particular aspects of teaching relevant to the situation. Women’s groups are particularly hungry for teaching and recently we have been able to share on a number of occasions on some aspects of Natural Medicines, Creation Care and reusable sanitary towels. Our experience is that nearly always there is interest in many aspects of the teaching and often something not planned also comes up.
Women listen during a one day seminar that REAP staff facilitated at Evangelical Christ Church in Africa (ECCA)

Women listen during a one day seminar that REAP staff facilitated at Evangelical Christ Church in Africa (ECCA)

Natural Medicine Training Seminar

In May we had another successful intensive week of training in Natural Medicines. We had 21 participants representing 7-8 countries. The participation was excellent and we were able to cover all the planned curriculum with plenty of practicals. The centre we used is run by Benedictine Sisters, and one of the sisters who came to our training two years ago has established an excellent medicinal garden, which was an invaluable resource and inspiration for the participants.

George teaching on harvesting Artemisia and taking cuttings during seminar May 2018

George teaching on harvesting Artemisia and taking cuttings during seminar May 2018

 
Preparing leaves for making ointments and oils

Preparing leaves for making ointments and oils

 

What About Retirement?

Roger reaches his 65th birthday this year, so people have been asking about whether we are going to retire. We still have plenty of energy and momentum, and believe that we still have plenty of opportunities for extending our teaching and getting the ideas established in more areas. So retirement is not on our immediate agenda at the moment, though we are looking seriously at strategies for the teaching to continue with less of our input.

Thank you for your support

We continue to appreciate the support that we receive, as do those who benefit from the teaching and other work. Although as noted above we are not talking about retiring yet, one of our main supporting churches does cease their support at retirement age, so we are now looking for new people and churches to commit themselves to supporting our work. Please consider if you or your church can make a commitment to enable us to continue with what we have started, and take it forward.